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American And Indian Culture

There are a lot of differences between American and Indian culture and values.

As we know today, the American culture is a mixture of different cultures.

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India, on the other hand, has its own culture and values. I would like to
introduce the culture and value differences between these two countries.

Americans believe that they can really control their future. They are more
specific to plan things. Indian people, however, believe that everything goes by
God’s will. They make short term plans. However, Americans always like to plan
things ahead. They think they can/should control and dominate nature and the
world around them. Americans are more goal-oriented, where as Indian people are
more people oriented. They make their goals around people of the family. They
even change their goals sometimes if they do not suit the needs of their family
or family members. On the other hand, Americans are always ready to do anything
to get the job done or achieve their goal. One major difference between the two
cultures is family values. American people tend to have a series of short-term
relationships, and many do not commit with one person for a long time. Indians,
however, believe in long term relationships. They are more family-oriented and
respect human relationships. They care for their family and are always ready to
do anything for them. Extended families are traditional in India, while nuclear
families are prevalent in the U.S. Change is a good value and indicative of
improvement and growth. Americans thinking about change is very positive. They
like mobility, migration, movement and change in their life style. Indian
culture, on the other hand, looks upon change as negative. They like stability.

They work hard to maintain their status quo. Americans place great emphasis on
time and its value. They believe “time is money,” and try to make every day
productive. They do not like to waste time. They always like to do their work on
time. Unfortunately, Indians are careless about the value of time. Time does not
mean much and carries little importance for them. Indians are more formal than
American people. Americans believe to formal is to be stuffy and arrogant and
affected. This casual egalitarian attitude is meant to make everybody
(foreigners) feel at home and welcome. American people are more practical but
Indians are more efficient. Americans believe in more action and fewer words.

Every decision is to be based on practicality, not upon aesthetics, or on
consensus so everybody is made to feel good. Indians are known for their hard
work, vitality and dynamism. There is an old saying “Dab ke wah te Raj ke kha”
(work hard and eat to your satisfaction) that is very appropriate for Indians.

Due to their hard work, Indians are very successful in other countries; they
work as teachers, doctors, engineers, drivers, shopkeepers and run
restaurateurs. They are less rigid. They have learned to assimilate the new
culture pattern. Where as, the core of western culture is individual. They may
be less hard working than Indians, but they have more resources. As you can see,
here are many differences between the American and Indian cultures. Americans
are independent and relaxed, while Indians tend to be extremely family-oriented
and hard working. Americans enjoy mobility and change, while Indians seek
stability. Even though each culture has both negative and positive aspects, both
would benefit greatly from learning about one another. Americans like privacy
and are very independent. They believe the individual is paramount. Americans do
not like to work in groups, but Indian people are collectivist people. They
always enjoy working as members of a group. Americans tend to think about
themselves and place their needs above all else. American teenagers, for
example, do not always consider consequences before they act. They just care
about having fun. Indian teens have to think of many things before they make any
decision. They must consider the effect their action will have on their family,
and how society will react. Family reputation is very important to them, and
they must be careful not to do anything to put down the family name. Family
values are much more important for them. Family comes first and individuals own
identity is second. Americans take pride in their own accomplishment, not in
name. They believe that a person should be self-reliant and not be dependent on
others. On the other hand, Indians are very dependent on others. Children are
not brought to be independent. They are taught form very young age that there
are others who will help them and they have to help others. They help their
young ones. Elders generally make decisions. Very few can make decisions on
their own. Their elders always support young ones. Competition is a good value.

Competition is what brings out the best in people and achieves the best results.

The spirit of competition is more in Indians people as compared to Americans. In
school, for instance, Indian children are encouraged to excel. The expectations
of families towards their children are very high. Parents always motivate their
children to compete with others and live up to their full potential. From the
beginning, American children are taught to be direct, open and honest. They are
raised to look others straight in the eye and “tell it like it is.” They do
not hesitate to express their opinions. Indian children however, are taught
respect above all else. Unlike American culture, starting straight into the eyes
of elders is considered disrespectful. A child is expected to be soft-spoken,
respectful and obedient at all times. Many of the differences between eastern
and western cultures stem from the fact that eastern cultures and values are
based around their religions. Religion and family has a tremendous effect on the
values and daily lives of Indians. Americans, being more individualistic,
respect their religion but live life according to their own will.


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